Sable Island National Park Reserve is a remote island that is only accessible by air or by sea.

Visitors can reserve a seat or charter a trip with a Parks Canada licensed operator, or plan a trip by private vessel.

Contact operators licensed by Parks Canada for prices and more information.

Choose your own adventure!

By experiences

Fully guided experiences

Kattuk Expeditions (plane, helicopter, ship)

Picture Perfect Tours (plane, helicopter)

Partially guided experiences

By travel options

Reserve seats on a fully guided tour

Purchase individual seats with licensed operators. Contact operators for travel dates and pricing.

Operators will register their guests with Parks Canada.

Parks Canada licensed operators: 

Kattuk Expeditions (plane, helicopter, ship)

Picture Perfect Tours (plane, helicopter)

Reserve seats on a flight

Purchase individual seats with licensed operators.

Operators will register their guests with Parks Canada.

Includes a two hour guided walk with Parks Canada.

Parks Canada licensed operators: 

Sable Aviation (plane)

Charter a plane or helicopter for a private trip

For groups with 7-8 passengers.

Groups planning to charter a flight must register in advance with Parks Canada by completing the online visitor request form.

Visitor requests and dates are approved on a first-come first-served basis.

Parks Canada licensed operators: 

Sable Aviation (plane)

Vision Air (helicopter)

Arrive by private vessel

All visitors planning to arrive by sea in a private vessel must register in advance with Parks Canada by completing the online visitor request form.

Visitor requests are approved by Parks Canada on a first-come first-served basis.

Critical guidelines for safe landing


Methods of transportation

By plane

Photo: Debra Garside

Sable Aviation offers the only fixed-wing airplane service to Sable Island. The airplane lands on the beach as there are no permanent runways on the island. Fixed-wing airpline flights can transport up to seven passengers.

Flights are scheduled on Saturdays only, from June to October. Sundays are reserved as the alternate date if conditions on Saturday do not allow a flight.

Fully guided tour

Travel by fixed-wing airplane and spend your day with a licensed tour operator.

Plane
Contact:

Kattuk Expeditions

Picture Perfect Tours

Travel options:

Reserve individual seats.

Partially guided experience

Travel by fixed-wing airplane, spend two hours with a Parks Canada tour guide, and explore on your own.

Plane
Contact:

Sable Aviation

Travel options:

Reserve individual seats.

Charter a plane (1-7 seats). Register in advance with Parks Canada by completing the online visitor request form.

By helicopter

Vision Air offers the only helicopter service to Sable Island. The helicopter lands on a permanent helipad and can take up to eight passengers.

Flights are on weekdays, from June to October, and they are limited.

Fully guided tour

Travel by helicopter and spend your day with a licensed tour operator.

Helicopter
Contact:

Kattuk Expeditions

Picture Perfect Tours

Travel options:

Reserve individual seats.

Partially guided experiences

Travel by helicopter, spend two hours with a Parks Canada tour guide, and explore on your own.

Helicopter
Contact:

Vision Air

Travel options:

Charter a helicopter (up to eight seats). Register in advance with Parks Canada by completing the online visitor request form

By ship

Kattuk Expeditions occasionally offers fully guided expedition cruises to Sable Island.

Ship
Contact:

Kattuk Expeditions

Travel options:

Reserve individual seats.

By private vessel

Request and register your trip

All visitors planning to arrive by sea in a private vessel must register in advance with Parks Canada by completing the online visitor request form.

Visitor requests are approved by Parks Canada on a first-come first-served basis.

Experience options

Partially guided.

Critical guidelines for safe landing

If you are in charge of a vessel, the following guidelines are critical for a safe landing. The possibility of heavy fog, shifting sandbars, and rough seas in the waters around Sable Island can pose challenges to boat access. There are no wharf facilities or mooring buoys on Sable Island, and vessels must anchor offshore and have a zodiac or other small boat suitable for a beach landing.

  • Before departing the mainland: Vessels should contact the Parks Canada Operations Coordinator at 902-492-4678 to ensure we are aware of your itinerary and you are informed of activities or conditions on the island or offshore that may affect your plans.
  • Visitors arriving by sea are responsible for their safe arrival and departure from the island. Parks Canada has limited capabilities on the island to assist in a marine rescue or emergency.
  • When within 10 nautical miles of the island: Vessels should contact the island on Marine Radio Channel 8 or 16 to confirm their safe arrival and to obtain any special instructions.
  • Vessels must anchor off the north side of the island, opposite the Main Station – at longitude 60.01W. There are submerged sand bars off the beach, and vessels should maintain their distance – 500 meters is usually sufficient, although there are times small boats are able to approach within 200 meters. A zodiac or small boat is required to get ashore and make a beach landing.
  • When anchored: Vessels should contact Sable Island on Marine Radio Channel 8 or 16 to advise when they are anchored. The Operations Coordinator can file or close sailing plans as required.
  • Landing: Visitors must not attempt to land on the beach until Parks Canada personnel are in position to greet them upon arrival and to provide an orientation and safety briefing.
  • Changing conditions may make it hard for a small boat to land or depart from the island, so sailors should be extremely careful about coming through the surf zone, and should have experience in managing beach landings in rough surf.
  • Communications: When coming ashore, boat passengers must have a VHF radio and maintain communications with the beach party on Marine Channel 8.
  • All boat passengers must have life jackets for beach landings, and zodiacs or small boats must not be overloaded beyond manufacturer’s recommended carrying capacity.

Be prepared

  • Have the proper travel approval from Parks Canada or from a Parks Canada licensed operator.
  • Make transportation arrangements to and from Sable Island with a Parks Canada licensed operator and be prepared for delays and cancellations.
  • Be prepared for a backcountry-like wilderness experience. Be self-reliant and responsible for your own safety.
  • Follow the biosecurity measures in place to protect Sable Island.

Delays and cancellations

Delays and cancellations can be caused by poor weather or the lack of a safe landing area. Normal delays might last a day or two, although significantly longer delays are possible. Poor weather and beach conditions could prohibit departure or landing of an aircraft or small boat for several days.

All visitors must be prepared for delays and cancellations, both when attempting to travel to the island and when attempting to depart.

All visitors must ensure they have adequate supplies, including any prescribed medication, to accommodate unplanned delays.

In the event of unplanned overnight stay on Sable Island, standard fees apply for accommodation and emergency food rations.

Questions?

Contact our Visitor Experience Coordinator for more information about planning your trip: